Why Ford's Stock Reversal Is a Buying Opportunity for Shareholders

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Ford (F)  shares are down 17% since reaching a 52-week high of $18.12 in July. And the shares took another pounding Monday and Tuesday after the company lowered its 2014 pre-tax profit projections to $6 billion, down from a prior range of $7 billion to $8 billion.

Investors were spooked when Ford, which makes the popular F-150 truck, also projected a pretax loss of $1.2 billion in Europe in 2014 and a loss of $250 million in 2015. (Back in July, the company said it was on track to make a profit in Europe in 2015.) At $14.80, the stock price at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Ford has posted year-to-date losses of 3.9%, trailing the 6.8% gain of the S&P 500 (SPY) .

But there's value here. And investors shouldn't wait around for a better opportunity to buy.

Given that the stock is trading at just nine times trailing earnings -- 18 points below General Motors (GM) -- these shares are cheap. Ford's price-to-earnings multiple of 9.1 is about half that of the average price-to-earnings ratio of the companies in the S&P 500.

But Ford stock still has a high analyst target of $23, according to Yahoo! Finance. This suggests a possible premium of more than 50%. And even if Ford were to only reach its median target of $20, investors can still make 32% on the stock while collecting the 3.4% yield.

Monday's 7% decline in Ford stock and Tuesday's continued slide are an overreaction.

Investors should buy the stock now, especially ahead of the company launching of its flagship F-150 truck, which, according to Automobile Magazine, goes on sale in a few weeks.

These new trucks will sport an aluminum body that is considered more fuel-efficient. And the F-150s can become an excellent source of long-term growth for Ford. Despite Ford's September sales slump, long-term revenue and profits goals remain intact.

But Ford has plenty of challenges to overcome.

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The company has not made any excuses. Despite record profits in North America, areas like South America -- where Ford expects to lose $1 billion this year -- continue to present headwinds. And there's uncertainty around Russia. Sanctions and a declining ruble are taking a toll on the economy.

Still, Ford plans to grow revenue globally by 55% in the next six years, during which it expects to sell 9.4 million cars and trucks. The company's investments in Asia, where it plans to open five new plants, will contribute greatly to that six-year revenue target. It's a mistake to bet against that plan. 

The company has been profitable for 20 consecutive quarters. Management has remained aggressive in restructuring the business to adjust for consumer demand. And Ford has raised its profits projections for 2015 to $8.5 billion to $9.5 billion.

To that end, Ford understands its business much better than it is getting credit for. And investors who are waiting for a better entry point in the stock will be disappointed.

At the time of publication, the author held no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

Follow @Richard_WSPB

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.


TheStreet Ratings team rates FORD MOTOR CO as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate FORD MOTOR CO (F) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, attractive valuation levels, growth in earnings per share and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: F Ratings Report

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